Food for your wallet: student-friendly recipes

October 23, 2015  |   Found in Editorial // Student Life

As a student myself I know it is hard to eat healthy on a budget. However it is important to have a healthy relationship with food as busy students! That is why I have come to you with quick and easy recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. These recipes use ingredients that are either in season for the fall or are available to us year round. The benefits of having foods that are seasonal are that they will be more abundant and not that pricey.


Overnight Oats
Avocado Toast


Hummus Wrap
Three-Bean Salad


Mushroom Pasta
Fried Rice


The Recipes

Overnight Oats

I always make sure that I have breakfast every morning, no matter how busy I am. My favourite breakfast to make is overnight oats. You can add any topping and it takes no more than 10 min to prepare the night before. My favourite is cinnamon blueberry overnight oats

  • 1/2 cup instant or steel cut oats (whichever you prefer)
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp. honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • Blueberries (to top)
  • Coconut flakes (to top)
  • Almonds (to top)

The night before, mix the oats with the almond milk, also add in the honey and cinnamon powder. Leave in the fridge overnight. In the morning grab the bowl from the fridge and top with some blueberries, coconut flakes, and almonds. Voila! Breakfast in less than 10 minutes.


Avocado Toast

Another great breakfast option is avocado on toast. It is healthy, filling and delicious. This recipe also takes no more than 10 minutes.

  • 1/2 or 1 avocado depending on the size
  • 2 pieces of toast
  • 1/4 of a lemon
  • Black pepper (to taste)
  • Salt (to taste)

Take two pieces of bread and toast them. Take your avocado and mash it in a bowl add the lemon, black pepper, and salt. Top your toast with the mash. *Add hot sauce or an egg if you’d like and once again breakfast is ready in less than 10 min. Both of the breakfast recipes above can customized to your taste and liking.



Hummus Wrap

This is a quick and easy recipe that will keep you satisfied for the remainder of your day. You can easily customize the wrap to your taste and liking, as you will see in my recipe there is no meat (I am a vegetarian) so you can add any type of meat that you believe will pair well with the wrap.

  • Whole wheat wrap
  • Hummus (whatever flavour you like)
  • half a red pepper sliced
  • half an orange pepper sliced
  • 1-2 spring onion diced (add more if you really like onions)
  • Cilantro (or any herb of your choice)
  • Kale or Spinach
  • half a jalapeno (or skip it if you don’t like heat)
  • 3-5 cherry tomatoes halved and then halved again
  • salt and pepper to taste

To assemble, cut your vegetables: peppers sliced, onion chopped, jalapeno chopped. Separate the kale leaves from the stalk (it is the stalk that makes the kale extra bitter). Also massage the kale leaves with a table spoon of olive oil (or any oil you have on hand); this will make the kale easier to digest. Take your tortilla wrap, spread the hummus in the middle then add the red and orange peppers, spring onion, cherry tomatoes, jalapeno, and kale (or Spinach). Top with salt and pepper, wrap it up and there you have a quick and easy lunch. You can also take the remainder of you red and orange peppers slice them to have as a snack while on the go during your busy day.


Three-Bean Salad

I recommend making the bean salad the night before. Letting the beans marinate in the dressing will make the salad taste even better, and you won’t have to worry about making lunch in the morning.


  • Green Beans (remove the stems)
  • Canned chickpeas (BPA free)
  • Canned Kidney Beans (BPA free)
  • 1 Red pepper (finely chopped)
  • 1 jalapeno (seeded and finely chopped, optional)
  • 1/3 cup cilantro or parsley, finely chopped
  • 3 green onions (chopped)


  • 1/2 – 3/4 of a lemon (juiced)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey

Bring a pot of water to boil, and blanch the green beans. Rinse the canned chickpeas and canned kidney beans under water in a colander. Add all three beans to a bowl. Add in the finely chopped red pepper, jalapeno, cilantro or parsley, and green onions. In a separate bowl whisk together the lemon juice with olive oil, salt, Dijon mustard, and honey. Add the dressing to the salad, mix it together, cover and let it marinate over night in your fridge. Lunch is ready for the next day!



Mushroom Pasta

  • Fusilli or macaroni pasta (1.5 cups)
  • tomato sauce
  • 1 tomato (cut into cubes)
  • 3-4 Mushrooms (chopped roughly)
  • 1-2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • 1tbsp. olive or canola oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Bring a pot full of water to boil, add the pasta to the water (follow the instructions on the pasta packaging to cook). In a saucepan add olive oil (on high heat). Once the oil is hot add the garlic (it will burn quickly) once it has browned add in your mushrooms and stir. After 2-3 minutes add in your tomatoes, salt and pepper, stir again once the juices in the tomato and mushroom have started to release add in 1cup (or however much you think is appropriate) of your tomato sauce. The sauce will boil so bring the heat down to medium and keep stirring, drain your pasta and add it to the sauce. Voila dinner is served!

*This recipe makes enough pasta to also have for lunch the next day



Fried Rice

This recipe is delicious, filling and easy to make.

  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 1 cup extra firm tofu (substitute with any meat or seafood of your choice)
  • 1/2 cup carrots (finely diced)
  • soy sauce (5tbsp)
  • 1 clove of garlic (finely minced)
  • 1 cup green onions
  • 1tbsp. olive oil (or any cooking oil you have on hand)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Rinse your rice and add to a pot along with 1 cup water and 1 tsp salt along with 1 tbsp vegetable oil. Once the water starts to boil bring the heat down to low and let the rice simmer with lid slightly uncovered. It will take about 10 – 15 minutes for the rice to cook, you will know that it is ready once there are holes appearing in the rice. Take a spoon to check if the water at the bottom is gone; once the water is gone, remove from heat and cover completely with a lid. In a saucepan or skillet add a tablespoon of olive oil (or whatever cooking oil you have on hand) add in the garlic and tofu and once the tofu is slightly browned add in the green onions, carrots and peas. Sauté the ingredients for 5 minutes before adding in the rice and soy sauce (add more soy sauce if you need too). Sauté the fried rice for another 5 – 8 minutes. Dinner is served!


Originally published Oct. 23, 2015.

Harmeet K. Jaswal is a 3rd year business student. She is a vegetarian and food enthusiast, as well as a planner addict. In her spare time she likes to watch YouTube videos on planning.